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Missy Raines and the New Hip w/Have Gun Will Travel I bet there’s a good reason Nashville upright bassist, singer and songwriter Missy Raines won the Bluegrass Music Association’s Bass Player of the Year Award seven times (talent). But Raines doesn’t want to be pigeonholed to strictly grassy sonicspheres, and her material with The New Hip finds her experimenting with a more progressive style and incorporating jazz, pop, and rock lite textures. (Skipper’s Smokehouse, Tampa)
Big Freedia Of all the artists to explode chanting, calling-out and shouting from New Orleans’ vibrant urban bounce music scene, Big Freedia (aka Freddie Ross) is by far the most distinctive, renowned for his overtly gender-bending tendencies and “Queen Diva” flamboyance. Freedia played a big role in the post-Katrina entertainment relief efforts; he was one of the first artists to return and performed upwards of 10 shows a week until the city got back on its feet. He brings his sky-high energy to town for a Sunday night call-and-response dance party. (Orpheum, Ybor City)
Natalie Cole The nine-time Grammy-winning prodigal daughter of jazz legend Nat King Cole returns to town with her AC soul grooving style and classy R&B sways. Keep your fingers crossed for a little Latin spice as Natalie is gearing up to release a record with all Spanish lyrics sometime this spring. (Mahaffey Theater, St. Petersburg)
MONDAY, JANUARY 21
Richard Thompson w/Kris Delmhorst A little less than a year ago, Fender Strat-slinging British rock heavyweight Richard Thompson set Tampa Theatre on fire with his axe wizardry and contemplative moments of acoustic beauty or jazzy finger-picking style as part. According to sometime CL Writer Eric Snider, the “folk-rock power trio” was dryly described by the musician as “as kind of a cross between the Jimi Hendrix Experience and Peter, Paul & Mary,” though Snider felt it tilted heavily to the Hendrixian. Thompson’s 2012 effort, Cabaret of Souls, grew from a project he was commissioned to produce honoring the skills of friend and frequent collaborator, Danny Thompson, at the 2009 convention of the International Society of Bassists. Limited to release on the artist’s site, the narration-studded thematically-linked collection follows a "talent contest" in the afterlife between the souls of recently deceased people. (Ferguson Hall at Straz Center for Performing Arts, Tampa)
Young Jeezy w/DJ Baby Yu He’s charted gold and platinum-selling singles as both a featured guest (like in “Love in This Club" with Usher and Rihanna’s "Hard") and solo artist, but I bet when Young Jeezy is balancing his books, the Atlanta-based rapper isn’t really sweating about where his millions are coming from — and the track that put him on the map, “Soul Survivor” featuring Akon, was his own distinctive hard-hitting hip hop. Young Jeezy makes a special one-off nightclub stop in Tampa accompanied by his current DJ, Baby Yu. (Amphitheatre, Ybor City)
David Rovics Portland activist/folk troubadour David Rovics keeps his songwriting socially relevant and his warm and pleasant intones offer straightforward reflections on politically-charged moments in history, issues that interest or concern him, and the odd sentimental topics, from ecoterrorism, anti-globalization, oil spills and political prisoners, to the loneliness of a Travelodge hotel room and his musical response to the rightwing evangelical types he encountered at a Houston supermarket (“Who Would Jesus Bomb?”). Rovics just released his 15th studio album, Meanwhile In Afghanistan, a folk punk manifesto that features lead guitar by Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine. Meanwhile is available for download-by-donation at davidrovics.com. St. Pete’s own activist songstress Jun welcomes Rovics for her Monday night live music series and opens the evening with some original music. (The Ale & the Witch, St. Petersburg)
TUESDAY, JANUARY 22
Kris Allen w/Jillette Johnson Arkansas native and American Idol alumni Kris Allen issued a self-titled album in 2009 following his win on the reality singing show; his second album and major label debut hit No. 11 on the Billboard charts. In his 2012 follow-up, Thank You Camellia, Allen was more hands-on with the writing, producing and recording process, his hooky pop rock melodies and earnest lyrics in first single "The Vision of Love" about opening your heart to those in need and inspired by his charity work in Rwanda. (State Theatre, St. Petersburg)
Tyler- I can't believe how talented of a writer you are. This article was beautifully…
Great interview! Give the interviewer a full time job! He's great!
The DJ was actually The Castle's very own DJ Tom Gold :)
Fabulous review Gabe! Too bad I missed it.